|(Image source: Wikimedia Commons)|
Today on this memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows, let me share a unique reflection offered by the late Father Raymond, O.C.S.O. in his book, God, A Woman and The Way - a book I highly recommend you read.
One of the seven dolors of our Blessed Mother; The Flight and Exile into Egypt:
“There was pain in Egypt - yet, I say it was heaven.
Mary saw raw, rampant paganism all about her, yet nursed God at her breast; she had to listen to false gods be called upon, yet she heard the Word of God utter His human word. And while the sight of pyramids standing against a setting sun, and the shimmer on the waters of Nile told her not only that she was in exile, but that her whole people had once been here, yet when she gazed into the starry light in His eyes and knew that it had been kindled from light in her own and that He was the Maker of stars, Egypt and exile was heaven. It was here she saw Him take His first step, listened to Him laugh in baby glee, felt His tiny hand caress her cheek and tangle in her hair; it was here that she bathed, clothed, fed her Baby who was God; it was here that she tucked God in bed and sang God to sleep; it was here that her whole night and day, her being, her whole existence was God who was also her Child. If to know and love God is heaven, then to labor and live and love Jesus in Egypt is a heavenly exile.
Have you ever tried to live a whole day not only for God but with Him? We are in exile. Every night we monks sing to Mary and confess that we are exules filii Evae - the exiled children of Eve. But that song is a knightly tribute to our Queen and our Mother. In it we ask that she turn her eyes, so full of mercy, toward us. It has frequently struck me as a needless request. The Portuguese call Mary Gobba which means "hunchback." They say she is round-shouldered or hunched-back from bending out of heaven down toward her "poor banished (exiled) children of Eve." If Pascal was right when he said Jesus will be in agony until the end of the world, we are not wrong when we say Mary will be standing by His cross all the while. She is our Mother - and mothers never rest until their children are home. Mary will be Gobba until time ends. We need not beg her to "turn thine eyes of mercy toward us" - they are always on us. But like all mothers she likes to be asked; for she likes to know that we are conscious not only of our need, but of her ability to help.”
(From God, A Woman and The Way by Rev. M. Raymond, O.C.S.O.)